We've heard reports of so-called pico projectors coming as a direct complement for mobile phones for more than a year now, first in demos at CES 2008, and later in the form of the Optoma Pico Project Projector. Meanwhile, a non-projector company may be first to actually market a pico projector as a bona-fide mobile accessory: PhoneSuit, the iPhone accessory company generally known for protective cases, Bluetooth headsets, and battery packs, has announced the PhoneSuit MiLi Pro -- a handheld video projector for use with the iPod Touch and iPhone line.
Due out in September 2009, the PhoneSuit MiLi Pro has been optimized for pairing with an iPhone. The device can display images at a 640-by-480 resolution wherever you wish to project an image. This is perfect if you're tired of having your friends huddle around your iPhone to catch up on the latest stupid YouTube video.
The MiLi Pro's recommended display size ranges from five to 40 inches (though the company says it can go all the way up to 70 inches), and it comes with an adjustable focus wheel to make sure your image is as crisp as possible. The $99 PhoneSuit MiLi Power Pack powers the MiLi Pro, so you won't have to worry about sapping the iPhone's limited battery life. The Power Pack drives the MiLi Pro's liquid-crystal-on-silicon (LCoS) LED projector with a brightness rating of 10 lumens. Phonesuit says it takes about three hours to recharge fully via provided USB cables, and it will come with an extra battery pack. MiLi Pro pricing will be announced upon its release.
Sadly, the MiLi Pro is compatible with only the iPhone and iPod Touch lines, so iPod Classic faithful (like me) are left out of this one. The MiLi Pro does accept VGA and RCA inputs in addition to the standard iPod dock connectors, though, so you'll be able to use it for any of your compatible computers, DVD players, or game consoles. It's also got built-in speakers in case you don't feel like toting yours around.